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June 7, 2007

You've given me everything I need

gilmore-girls.jpg

I'm usually a voracious reader of reviews, but I didn't even bother to see what people are writing about the last ever epiosde of Gilmore Girls---except of course, for Salon, whose reviewer I pretty much agree whole heartedly with. But I'm not reading any other reviews or forums on the series as whole or the final episode in particular because the best reviewer, the one who, next only to the Palladinos, knows the show best of all is me. I know its root causes like I know my own: a love of pie, of books, pop culture, pizza, shiny hair and lots of fabulous winter coats. Although this inventory tends to coincide with a lot of stuff that girls, in particular, like, the show should never be considered a girls only kind of show, although I can't imagine it would ever be as much fun for a guy to watch. The show casts one of the widest possible nets in terms of audience appeal; it is practically saturated with pop culture references and the two lead actresses, while natural comediennes I'm sure, have been specially coached in the rapid fire banter that is the key component in its considerable charm. Well, that and two other things---the well rendered quirky Conneticut hamlet of Stars Hollow (in the America where Al Gore won the election) and the most perfect, aspirational relationship depicted between mother and daughter, ever.

Even though she faced unexpected competition from Tammy Taylor of Friday Night Lights, Lorelai is still Greatest TV Mom ever, because Tammy is very much a mom-within-a-couple mom while Lorelai has always been a single mother unit. And in this category Lorelai is untouchable: strong, sassy, supportive, unshakeable in addiction to junk food and coffee and completely, perfectly in tune with the dreams and hearts of little girls everywhere. And teenage girls. And mothers. Girls, generally. What do girls want? Ask Lorelai. Or better yet, give 'em Lorelai. Lorelai's life. No one can rock a wrap dress like Lorelai, run her own business, fan the attentions of so many slack jawed men and leave her detractors in the dust like Lorelai can. Because she's got her girl, see, Rory and when she found out she was pregnant at sixteen, everything changed and there were no more second chances to get it right. Every decision she made since then has been the right one, excluding the ones related to men because, otherwise, I guess, no show.

I used to watch Gilmore Girls with an entire pizza and much hot chocolate when it was on TV. In yellow pajamas. Then it got cancelled or something and I was only able to catch slivers of it on Foxtel, or the time slot kept changing and I couldn't keep up. The first time I called my now-boyfriend was after an episode, and the first TV show I have owned completely on DVD is that show. Such mythic admiration, however, does not preclude me from saying that the seventh and final season sucked hard, but it does whine somewhere in the background that its creator and lead writer, the Palladinos, had left by the seventh season, and that the show really suffered from the loss.

Let me explain it this way: the seventh season never got the rhythym, never got the girls, never got it. It didn't have that great balance of smarts and warmth, the characters weren't allowed to breathe between episodes and you could plot the arc of the season in your head---which was something you could never do in the early seasons. The finale was saved by just two things: the town itself and a very well chosen closing scene that recreated the very first scene in the show. But that was all. However, there is talk of Gilmore Girls movie, helmed by the Palladinos, which should give the show the proper send off it deserves. I read that Amy Sherman Palladino has said she has always known how the show will end, right down to the last four words. I am dying to know what those words are, and to see if Rory will get back together with Jess. But mainly I just need to know that my girls are going to be alright before I let them out in the world, away from my imagination and my perfect, patchworked world where girls can eat nothing but diner food and still not get fat. Seriously, Gilmore Girls should come with a health warning; I gained eight kilos watching those seven seasons. And it almost made me want to eat meat. I wonder (though I doubt) if it's possible to make a good vegetarian cheeseburger?

The good news is that the new show by the Palladinos, The Return of Jezebel James should air very shortly in the states. It revolves around, (surprise, surprise!) a sassy, fast-talkin' pair of sisters played by Parker Posey and cutie Lauren Ambrose. I don't know too much about it, but I know those girls have energy to burn and I'm fairly sure I'm going to love it. So I guess things are OK. In the meantime, I still have my DVDs of the early seasons where Mrs Kim was truly scary and Rory really did look like a little girl of sixteen. And there was Dean. Man, was he tall . . . and boy could he change that water bottle. Although I'm a Jess girl through and through, dude was one tall glass of water. Clink.

Posted by linda at June 7, 2007 7:56 PM

Comments

Hi, Holly. I agree with you completely about season 7. Here's what I believe happened. It has to do with those last 4 words.

Amy had a vision for Gilmore Girls, and everything she did brought us closer to that vision. She knew what the final 4 words were, because she knew where the show was going and how it was going to get there. And this vision shone through in every episode...

Until season 7. When she left after season 6, her vision left with her. And so season 7 floundered, without direction. They were making it up as they went along, because they didn't have Amy's vision.

But I expect the same Amy Sherman-Palladino quality from Jezebel James. So much so that I've already put up a fan site for The Return of Jezebel James, and I post everything I find about the show and cast there. And I've been loading up my NetFlix queue with Parker Posey movies and episodes of Six Feet Under (with Lauren Ambrose). Although today's red envelope contained Kissing Jessica Stein, with Scott Cohen, which doubles as a Gilmore Girls and Jezebel James movie. :)

-TimK

Posted by: Tim King at June 8, 2007 9:23 AM

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